What Are the Best POS Connectivity Options for My Business?ITFirst South Africa
The POS device is arguably the most important piece of equipment in any retail outlet. With cash transactions on the downturn and more people using plastic than ever before, smart businesses need to ensure that their POS connectivity is unfailing.
Certainly, our connectivity needs will depend on our business, but it’s good to know that there are several options open to us.
We’d like to run through a few of these to determine which POS connectivity solution is right for your business, right now and in the future.
POS Connectivity Options in South Africa
Whether your POS device is a simple card machine connecting to your cash register, or it’s an entire integrated system with all the bells and whistles, it needs a solid and reliable connection to the outside world.
Fibre, 4G/5G & Wi-Fi
We love fibre. The speed, low latency, and reliability of this fabulous system have resulted in lightning-fast internet connections and the ability to process payments at the speed of thought.
5G in South Africa, while not widely available throughout the country just yet, is another piece of tech which can facilitate rapid POS transactions.
Many businesses in a fixed location are choosing 4G, 5G or a fibre connection into their business, and after feeding it into a high-speed router, this super-fast signal can connect several POS devices simultaneously. Cardholder information, being transmitted over any data network, is obviously important unless your bank guarantees end-to-end encryption for the full data path between the card terminal and the bank. Ideal data connectivity for any transactions is via a secure PCI network.
With minimal downtime and a quick and stable connection, this POS connectivity solution could be a clear winner.
The Wi-Fi connection allows the device to be used anywhere within the Wi-Fi router’s radius making it perfect for restaurants, bars, and busy retailers.
However, minus a UPS or alternative power source, your router will fail without electricity, affecting all your systems.
SIM Card Devices
POS devices which make use of a SIM card – also known as GSM or GPRS point of sale devices – are another great connectivity option.
While not as quick as a fibre or 4G/5G connection, one of the key benefits is its mobility.
If your business sees you accepting payment on delivery of goods, then the very last thing you want is to be dealing with cash. A POS device with a mobile connection means that wherever there is a signal, you can accept a card payment.
Small businesses in South Africa are making good use of SIM card POS systems and are used extensively at:
- Outdoor markets
- Popup shops
- Promotional stands
- Expos and tradeshows
- Food trucks
- Busy seasonal retail outlets
They are also a great option as a failover for a wired connection during load-shedding or when your wired connection is affected by cable theft.
A wired connection is one that is fixed and connected to your POS terminal or system.
These require a physical link from the card device to the internet, usually through an ethernet cable feeding into the business network.
While secure and efficient, the wireless POS connectivity option has a few drawbacks:
- If the business internet connection is on ADSL, then the transaction may not be as fast as it could be, especially during the busier time of the day.
- When the power goes down due to load shedding or bad weather, the POS devices will cease to function. (Hopefully, your business will have a UPS or a generator which will kick in at this point.)
- ADSL lines still make use of copper cables and these are frequently subject to theft, poor maintenance, or failure at some point in the connection.
It’s great to have choices and only you will know what will work best for your business.
However, if you need information on the best service providers in your area, which packages will suit you best, or any other matter on POS connectivity, then our team will be more than happy to help.
Please call us on +27 878 200 220 today.